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Why the Deaths of Black Men and Boys Are Not Accounted For

As an African-American woman, who supports Black feminism, this topic is out of my usual comfort zone to talk about but it is an issue that needs to be brought to light. Black men and boys are now considered prey to our society, yet no one is doing anything about it.  There has been no in depth research or analysis on WHY this is happening, and the only answer that is given in response to their deaths is racism.  Well that answer does not suffice.  If it is racism, then why are Black males the ones being victimized the most?  And even if racism is the answer, there is nothing being done about it because America does not call it racism.  America justifies these deaths by saying that Blacks deserve death for the danger they pose to society and the phobia that has been created in the white imagination.

Black males fill the bottom of every measure of the American population’s prosperity and health, and even though this is the case, because they are men, they are seen as having gender-based benefits. The fear of researchers and scholars in studying the misfortunes of Black males in society is rooted from the “danger” that it might reinforce gender based hierarchy and empowering men poses potential “dangers.”  Let me translate this into simpler terms:  White America will do anything to maintain its superiority over African Americans, and empowering Black men poses a threat to their domineering position.  Because there is such a division between those who are considered to be “more oppressed” it prevents the ability to do a serious study of the relationship between the historical and political causes of the violence against Black males.  Not addressing the deeper causes for the death of so many Black men means that we are also failing to address America’s seemingly endless killings of Black males.  This is something that should not be able to be so easily concentrated to acts of racism.

Protestors gather outside of the courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland November 30, 2015, on the first day of jury selection for Baltimore Police Officer William Porter who is  charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.    REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
Protestors gather outside of the courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland November 30, 2015, on the first day of jury selection for Baltimore Police Officer William Porter who is charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

While Black men and boys continue dying because of state and white vigilantes, scholars are “highly encouraged” to refrain from theoretically accounting for these deaths through any sort of philosophical study. Why might you ask? Well, allow me to assist you in your thoughts… There is mass resistance from our universities and our scholars to consider Black male vulnerability beyond feminism or other stereotypes that link Black males to being culturally unstable and inherently violent.  Any study of Black male vulnerability is targeted as an act to erase Black female suffering.  THAT IS NOT THE CASE!  In studying Black male vulnerability, we are not erasing Black female suffering or anyone’s suffering.  If anything, this movement to understand why Black males are being murdered would help strengthen the foundations of Black feminist organizations or movements like #BlackLivesMatter.  Black males are disproportionately affected by violence, incarceration, poverty, unemployment, and suicide in America, yet we insist that the deaths of these Black men do not need to be accounted for.  It is this silence that ultimately takes advantage of the deaths that cause Black men to be underrepresented in our society.


Is the “negrophobia” that pushed white America to support lynchings as a form of murder is the same fear and anxiety that allows the white public to endorse the murder of Black men and boys as “justifiable homicides”? Police officers justify the killings of Black males by claiming that they were in “fear of their lives.”  America has created a system that justifies police violence, mass incarceration, and exclusion.  The concepts about Black masculinity is used to justify the murder of Black males in society and complicate the full picture of Black male oppression in America.  But where did this stigma or phobia come from and how did it obtain so much power? Well, often times, society imagine the Black boy, a child, to be physically threatening, and this idea is manifested through savagery inherent to Black stereotypes.  Black males have also been associated with animals (monkeys and apes) which diminishes any form of sympathy that was left for their humanity.  As a result of these characterizations, there is more acceptance of higher levels of violence directed towards them.


Ultimately, there is a clear connection between the deaths of Black males in society and the erasure of Black men from the realm of theory. The current theories in place that associate the death of Black males to the broad description of racism is a claim that in neither thoroughly research or analyzed.  Because of this, there is an inability to depict the particular kind of oppression and violence that defines Black male existence.  It is as if society classifies the deaths of Black males as being racist acts of violence and then finds ways to justify those acts and then move onto the next case.  Michael Brown was a victim and example of the power a white life has over Black male existence and is a clear demonstration of the seemingly abundant power of white individuals’ ability to enforce the anti-Black agreement against these particular Black males.  Black male death represents the fact that racism is the power whites have over the world which results in the insignificance of Black lives.  Black men are thought to simulate white patriarchy which is something that is unattainable because of Black male disadvantage, but one that is affirmed through society’s certainty in the decision that his death is the only way to fix the dangers he poses to society.  But these deaths honor the unfinished, perhaps unending, struggle to assert black humanity in a country built on its denial.




Butler, P. (2013). Black Male Exceptionalism: The Problems and Potential of Black Male Focused Interventions . Dubois Review.

Goff, P. (2008). Not Yet Human: implicit knowledge, Historical dehumanization, adn contemporary consequences. journal of personality and social psychology, 292-306.

Goff, P. (2014). The essence of innocence: consequences of dehumanizing black children. journal of personality and social psychology, 526-545, 540.

Hutchinson, D. (2010). Identity Crisis:Intersectionality, Multidimensionality, and the Development of an Adequate Theory of Subordination. Michigan Journal of Race and Law.

McDaniel, A. (2011). The Black Gender Gap in Educational Attainment: Historical Trends and Racial Comparisons. Demography.

Wynter, S. (2006). Interview in Proudflesh. Proudflesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness.



Donald Trump’s Ban on Muslims: Unconstitutional


Donald Trump was publicizing his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.- and he was standing on stage at an event honoring Pearl Harbor.  Trump and his supporters came together this week on the deck of the USS Yorktown, and the occasion was the 74th anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy.”  On December 7, 1941, the air and naval forces of Japan struck the U.S. naval base in Hawaii, killing more than 2,400 U.S. service personnel and sinking eight battleships.  The post-Pearl panic in America prompted the White House decision to remove Japanese-American families from their homes and detain them in makeshift camps for years (a decision the U.S. has been apologizing for ever since).

Now, I know that trump was born after World War II, but he knows the basic story of this period.  He even referred to it with APPROVAL this week in his speech about barring Muslims, saying that Franklin D. Roosevelt had done the right thing at the time.  Trump used The Supreme Court’s decision NOT to interfere when reviewing Roosevelt’s for his internment policy as good precedent for his ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

This lashing out on Trump’s end has created a raw edge for the debate over immigration and terrorism in our time and for his followers, it was another instance of “common sense”  and Trump playing on people’s fears than concerns of about being “politically correct.”  Trump, had previously called for surveillance against mosques and said that he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S. (  His message comes in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to “turn against one another” out of fear.

But isn’t that EXACTLY what Trump is telling us to do?  Well it is working, and it showed at his rally on Monday night where you will see in this video below many of his supporters being enthusiastic about his proposal.

The Muslim travel ban will most likely do a small dent to Trump’s popularity amongst Republican primary voters.  Despite repeated controversies, the billionaire businessman has dominated the GOP contest for months.  What does this say about the American people?

“Without looking at various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension.  Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” – Donald Trump




Obama’s administration condemned Trump’s proposal as being completely contrary to our values as Americans.  Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, pointed to the Bill of Rights’ protection of freedom of religion and emphasized the “extraordinary contributions” Muslim Americans have made to the U.S.  Trump’s proposal contradicts U.S. security. Rhodes stated that, “ISIL wants to frame this as a war between the United States and Islam, and if we look like we’re applying religious tests to who comes into this country, we’re sending a message that essentially we’re embracing that frame and that is going to make it very difficult to partner with Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world to prevent the scourge of radicalization that we should be focused on” (

In London, there is a petition calling for Donald Trump to be banned from entering the UK and has attracted more than a quarter of a million signatures (which is more than enough for a committee to consider sending the motion for a parliamentary debate).  To ban Trump from the UK would allow British residents the opportunity to stand up against hate speech.

Donald Trump’s proposal is unhinged and offensive, but the worst part is that there is a way for it to be legal.  Trump has yet to release many details regarding his policy, but if elected president, President Trump would have to persuade Congress to take up his cause and Congress could pass a law barring foreign Muslims from entering the country and it would be constitutional.  This may be true, however barring Muslims who are American citizens from re-entering the country would violate the Constitution.   Scholar and constitutional expert, Michael C. Dorf states that “Odious discrimination in immigration law is unconstitutional, as the House of Representatives itself tacitly recognized when just three years ago passed a resolution expressing regret for Chinese exclusion laws, which were based on ethnic prejudice.  Immigration policy based on religious prejudice would be equally odious, and thus unconstitutional.” Almost all of what Trump is saying is stupid, and a majority of it is un-American, but some of it is constitutional, which is a very scary thing.



  1. How does Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. further militarization in the U.S.?
  2. Is Donald Trump’s call for a ban appropriate?
  3. Is Trump playing on peoples fears or is Obama administration acting out of fear?
  4. Would you vote for a Muslim President?
  5. Will Trump remove himself from the presidential race?
  6. What do you think will happen to America if Trump is elected?
  7. How would you compare the U.S. and U.K. reactions to Trump’s proposal?


Diamond, Jeremy (2015).  Donald Trump: Ban all Muslim travel to U.S. Retrieved December 8,2015.

Elving, Ron (2015).  Trump’s Call to Bar Muslims Echoes Crisis From The Past.  Retrieved December 7,2015.

Mazza, Ed (2015).  Petition Seeks To Ban Donald Trump From U.K. Over Hate Speech. Retrieved December 8,2015.

Peralta, Eyder (2015). Trump’s Muslims Plan. Retrieved December 9, 2015.